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MTB News & Racing Round-up, Saturday, August 27, 2011

Date published:
August 27, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Cyprus Sunshine Cup sets 2012 dates

    The lead men on stage 2 of the Afxentia Stage Race, a round of the Cyprus Sunshine Cup
    Article published:
    August 24, 2011, 15:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Race series billed as perfect warm-up for World Cup season

    The Cyprus Sunshine Cup, a hallmark on the early season calendar, has set its dates for the 2012 season. Three rounds in Voroklini, Macheras Forest and Amathous are on the UCI's race schedule for the coming Olympic year.

    The series will kick off the European season with the race in Voroklini near Larnaca on February 19 (UCI category 1). Five days later, the Afxentia stage race will be held in the Macheras Mountains. That round is again a UCI category SHC event, which means that riders can earn a lot of UCI points, something that will come in handy for some riders and nations when it comes to Olympic qualification. The final round (UCI category 1) will be held at scenic location along the coast through the ancient ruins of Amathous.

    The Sunshine Cup, held in the sunny climate of Cyprus, ends just two weeks before the 2012 World Cup season will kick off in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The races could provide an ideal transition to get winter training legs up to race speed, and the temperatures are more likely to be similar to those expected in South Africa, so riders will be able to acclimate to hotter temperatures.

    Past participants have included 2011 World Cup winner Jaroslav Kulhavy, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Sabine Spitz and several UCI Elite Teams like Rabobank Giant, Milka Trek, Felt Ötztal X-Bionic, Specialized, Team Bulls and national teams. In 2011, top riders from 31 different countries were on the start line in the series races.

    2012 Cyprus Sunshine Cup
    February 19: Voroklini (C1)
    February 24 - 26: Afxentia Macheras Mountains (SHC)
    March 4: Amathous-Agios-Tychon (C1)

  • Byberg's bike stolen

    Lene Byberg's Specialized Fate was stolen in Val di Sole, Italy.
    Article published:
    August 24, 2011, 18:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Thief steals rare bike in Val di Sole

    A thief nabbed Lene Byberg's mountain bike this past weekend at the World Cup in Val di Sole, Italy. Byberg, who competes for Specialized Racing, was riding a 29er S-Works Fate, one of only five ever produced.

    The bike was stolen from a supermarket in Commezzadura on Friday, August 19. Byberg opted not to race the World Cup cross country on Saturday, although she cited tired legs and the need to fully recover before the world championships as the reason rather than her missing bike.

    The theft comes one weekend after another incident at the previous World Cup in the Czech Republic. The mountain bike of Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek) was stolen from his hotel room while he was in the shower, although he was somewhat more fortunate as Czech police found his bike on the street not far from the hotel the next day.

  • Top Leadville finishers to get rematch at Park City Point 2 Point

    Endurance racer Rebecca Rusch (Specialized) had already won the singlespeed cross country event
    Article published:
    August 24, 2011, 20:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Rusch, Mata, Smith to take on NUE Series queen Carey

    The Park City Point 2 Point (PCP2P) race is shaping up to be a Leadville 100  rematch among the women. The Utah round of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series on Saturday, September 3, will feature a battle of three of the top four female finishers at this year's Leadville 100.

    Leadville winner Rebecca Rusch, PCP2P defending champion Pua Mata and Jenny Smith are signed up for the event, but they will face a stiff challenge for NUE series queen Amanda Carey, who withdrew from Leadville after mechanical issues early in the race.

    The PCP2P is known among racers as a challenging and true point-to-point race. The 2011 course travels 78 miles and climbs roughly 14,000 feet through the Wasatch Mountains without crossing, or using, the same trail twice. It cuts through the area's three ski resorts, including Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort, and will finish in the Forum at Canyons Resort. Featuring more than 90 percent singletrack and very few sections for resting, the PCP2P requires athletes to maintain their endurance and focus.

    "Park City has over 400 miles of trail, which provides us with some incredible options for choosing our course," said Jay Burke, race director of the PCP2P. "The P2P is merciless. Ups and downs, big miles and technical lines. The course is not for the faint of heart, and that's exactly why the P2P has attracted some of the most prestigious endurance cyclists from around the country."

    Two-time defending PCP2P champion and Cyclingnews blogger Alex Grant of the Cannondale Factory Team called the 2010 PCP2P "harder than Leadville" and described the course as "25 miles shorter [than Leadville] but with the same amount of vertical gain and 75 miles more singletrack. There were no road sections for resting, drafting or eating or drinking. [It's] a pure mountain...

  • Mata and Prado secure US Pro Ultra Endurance Tour overall victories

    Manuel Prado (Sho-Air Specialized)
    Article published:
    August 24, 2011, 22:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Hampshire 100 wraps up series as final round is cancelled

    The USA Cycling Professional Ultra Endurance Tour (US Pro UET) wrapped up this weekend with the Hampshire 100 in Greenfield, New Hampshire. Manuel Prado and Pua Mata (both Team Sho-Air) won the series.

    The previously scheduled final round, the 6-Hour Sunset Challenge, scheduled for August 27 in Fontana, California, has been cancelled, which made the Hampshire 100 the fourth and final stop on the Tour.


    Prado topped the men's standings with 160 points. Colin Cares (Kenda-Felt) and Justin Spinelli (Luxe Wheelworks), who were the only other riders to win a race on the US Pro UET this season, tied for second with 60 points apiece.

    Three riders, Jay Henry, Jonny Hintze (Bikers Edge) and Jonathan Schottler (Michelob Ultra-Big Shark), tied for third place with 40 points apiece.

    The Hampshire 100 course navigated diverse terrain and wound through the towns of Greenfield, Francestown, Hancock, Bennington, Deering and Weare. It also climbed Crotched Mountain.

    Spinelli, who was the only person to complete the Hampshire 100 course in under five hours, led the 16-rider men's field with a time of 4:47:53 in the final results. Prado finished second, edging two-time American Olympian Tinker Juarez (Cannondale Factory). Both Prado and Juarez posted times of 5:00:22.


    Mata won each of the three US Pro UET races she entered to amass 180 points and top the final women's standings. Karen Potter (, who won the Hampshire 100, finished second with 60 points. The four riders tied for third with 40 points were: Anna Milkowski (Wheelworks Racing), Jana Repulski, Jennifer Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) and Andrea Wilson (Mid South Velo).

    At the Hampshire 100, Potter beat Milkowski. In the final results, Potter finished the course in 6:06:12 while Milkowski...

  • Women will earn top UCI points at 2012 Cape Epic

    Elite women's winner Karien Van Jaarsveld
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 18:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Mountain bike stage race adds prize money for women and best Africans

    New for the 2012 edition of the Absa Cape Epic mountain bike stage race, racers in the ladies category will earn UCI points at an hors catégorie (HC) level. The South African race is one of only two mountain bike stage races with the UCI's HC status. They will also receive more prize money.  The 2012 race will run from March 25 to April 1.

    "The HC classification is typically reserved for Grand Tours such as the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España," said Kevin Vermaak, founder and director of the Cape Epic. "These races have a long history, some up to 100 years, so they've had 100 years to develop and refine their rules as the sport developed. We're challenged as we are the most competitive mountain bike stage race in an industry that is still growing, but growing strong. We've seen tremendous growth in the ladies category, with the competition increasing steadily each year."

    Races with the HC classification carry the highest points. "Naturally, we're delighted with this announcement as there is only one other race where ladies can earn the same number of points - the Sunshine Cup in Cyprus. These cross country points will be used to determine seeding at the 2012 Olympics. Previously, local female riders had to race abroad in order to earn points for a decent seeding. Finally, points can now be earned here in South Africa. Cross country points can also be earned at other cross country races, but more points are awarded at a race that has an HC classification than a regular cross country race, so it's definitely worth it for the ladies to try and earn points at HC races.

    Prize money for the women will increase from R40,000 to R127,500.

    "It's a major increase and will definitely be worth our while to participate," said one of South Africa's top riders and certified UCI Level 2 cycling coach, Erica Green. "This increase,...

  • Final Swiss Racer Bikes Cup round serves as dress rehearsal for Worlds

    Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing) putting the pressure on
    Article published:
    August 25, 2011, 22:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Riders from 20 nations ready to compete in Muttenz

    The 2011 Swiss Racer Bikes Cup series will wrap up in Muttenz, Switzerland, this weekend with the last round. It will serve as the final rehearsal for the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships which start in Champery, Switzerland, the following week. Racers from over 20 nations will compete in Sunday's elite cross country events.

    World championship favorites like Julien Absalon (Orbea) and Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) will join the Swiss national team for one final test of the legs.

    Scott-Swisspower's Nino Schurter and Florian Vogel are the favorites in the men's race, but they will be challenged by fellow Swiss rider Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing), who is also a contender for the series.

    In the women's race, Austrian Lisi Osl will battle local rider Sarah Koba and Kathrin Leumann, who are only five points apart in the standings. Leumann will be looking to repeat her last year's win here, but the presence of Esther Süss and German Sabine Spitz will only add to the challenge.

    Among the juniors, Lars Forster is just 65 points ahead of Andri Frischknecht while Jolanda Neff is in a league of her own and going for her 13th win in a row.

    Stefan Peter, only 19, and Kevin Krieg will battle in the amateur and masters category. Both have two wins thus far in the series.

    The Muttenz race is being held for the 16th time and it will include a festival, slopestyle action from riders like American Sam Pilgrim and a regional tour for about 600 cyclists.

  • Norris to defend title at Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge

    LIMBC honorary patron, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (right) and Datuk Malik Mydin, CEO of Human Voyage Sdn Bhd, organisers of the LIMBC 2011, entertaining questions from the media during the sponsorship announcement and launch of the Langkawi race on August 24, 2011.
    Article published:
    August 26, 2011, 5:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Second year event draws elite riders from around the globe

    Racers from 20 nations are expected to compete at the second edition of the Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge in Malaysia from October 17 to 23.

    The winner of the inaugural edition of the race in 2010, Lachlan Norris, will return to defend his title in the men's race, but he will face a challenge from U23 American rider Russell Finsterwald (Subaru-Trek), former European champion Thomas Diestch (Team Bulls), three-time Cape Epic champion Karl Platt (Team Bulls), three-time Asian champion Kohei Yamamoto (Team Bridgestone) and 2007 Cape Epic winner Paul Cordes (Team Qhubeka).

    Among the women competing are Nathalie Schneitter, winner of the 2010 World Cup round in Champery, and Swiss champion Vivienne Meyer for the women's race (both Colnago Arreghini Sudtirol). South African national champion Yolande Speedy (Team Qhubeka) will also compete.

    Datuk Malik Mydin, Human Voyage CEO, said the second edition of LIMBC promises to be an unforgettable affair. "With many top riders from Europe having confirmed their participation, we expect LIMBC 2011 to reaffirm its status as the ultimate race in Asia," he said during a press conference at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club earlier this week.

    LIMBC's Honorary Patron, YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, officiated the press launch event. Dr Mahathir said the event was important as a tool to attract tourists to Langkawi. "It is important to have an event such as this in Langkawi as a tool to promote the islands to tourists. With the anticipated huge media interest and coverage, we hope to have more tourists coming over to the island."

    Stage 1 of the 2011 Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge will feature a 62km race around the island while stage 2 will be an Olympic distance cross country race that starts and finishes at Kampung Tok Senik Resort. On stage 3, racers will do a seven-hour endurance event at Telaga Harbour Park, Pantai Kok.  Stage 4 will bring...

  • Swiss team named for UCI Mountain Bike Worlds

    Nino Schurter (Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing) putting the pressure on
    Article published:
    August 27, 2011, 15:33 BST
    Cycling News

    54 cross country, downhill and four cross riders chosen

    Swiss Cycling finalized its list of athletes competing at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Champery, Switzerland, from August 29 to September 4. The roster includes 54 cross country, downhill and four cross racers, who will enjoy competing in a world championship event in their home nation at a venue used previously in the UCI World Cup.

    Two former cross country world champions, Christoph Sauser (2008) and Nino Schurter (2009), will be the start line for Switzerland, but the Swiss men's team is powerful one with several other medal contenders, too, including 2010 Under 23 world champion Mathias Flückiger.

    On the women's side, Nathalie Schneitter won the last World Cup in Champery, in 2010, and she will again be among the favorites.

    Swiss National Team for 2011 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships

    Elite men cross country
    Lukas Flückiger (Team Trek World Racing)
    Mathias Flückiger (Team Trek World Racing)
    Christoph Sauser (Specialized Racing Team)
    Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing)
    Fabian Giger (Rabobank Offroad Team)
    Martin Gujan (Cannondale Factory Team)
    Florian Vogel (Scott Swisspower MTB Racing)

    Elite women cross country
    Sarah Koba (Giant Swiss SR-Suntour)
    Katrin Leumann (Ghost Factory Racing Team)
    Marielle Saner-Guinchard ( Scott)
    Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Arreghini Südtirol)
    Esther Süss (RC Gränichen)

    Under 23 men cross country
    Benjamin Büchi (RV Stadt Winterthur)
    Daniel Eymann (Thömus Racing Team)
    Thomas Litscher (Felt Ötztal X-Bionic)
    Jérémy Huguenin (Giant Swiss SR-Suntour)
    Reto Indergand (MK-Zentralschweiz)
    Marc Metzler (RV Altenrhein)
    Matthias Stirnemann (Thömus Racing Team)

    Under 23 women cross country